Technically an FIR refers to the information on the commission of an offence given to a police officer by the first informant. In other words, it is basically a complaint document that sets the provisions of the criminal law in motion.
To begin with, it is important to primarily understand the difference between Cognizable and Non-Cognizable offences. And FIR is filed for cognizable offences.
Under the Criminal Procedure Code, commonly known as CrPC, a cognizable offence allows the police to directly register an FIR and immediately begin investigation. The accused can also be arrested without a Warrant. Rape, murder, kidnapping and theft are examples of offences that fall into this category.
In a Non-Cognizable Offence, the police will require the permission of the court to register a case or investigate. The accused cannot be arrested without a Warrant and the offence is bailable. Examples of non-cognizable offences include criminal intimidation, trespassing, making a public nuisance of oneself, misappropriation of property, physical assault, forgery, causing simple hurt, and simple cheating.
1. It must be filed immediately. If there is any delay, mention it in the form.
2. If given orally, it MUST be taken down in writing and explained to you by the officer in charge, at a Police Station within the jurisdiction of which the offence has taken place.
3. There should be four copies recorded simultaneously, with carbon sheets in place.
4. It must be recorded in first person. Do check in which language this needs to be done.
5. Make sure the officials’ attitude towards you is sympathetic and yours towards him/her is respectful.
6. Avoid complicated, technical words, terminologies and unnecessary details.
7. Try not to overwrite or score out words.
8. Ensure that the arrival/departure time is mentioned in the FIR and in the Daily Diary Register at the Police Station.
9. It must contain authentic information, including these necessary bits of information:
What information do you want to convey?
In what capacity are you providing the information?
Who is the perpetrator of the crime?
Who has the crime been committed against
When was it committed (time)?
Where was it committed (specific place /locality/area)?
Why do you think it was committed?
Which way (actual process involved) was it committed?
Were there any witnesses? (Names will be required here.)
What were the losses? (Money /valuables/ possessions /physical damage etc.)
What were the traces at the scene of the crime? (Weapons/evidence if any.)
10. After completion, you MUST carefully read the document and sign it.
11. It must be recorded by the officer in the book maintained for this purpose by the State Government.
12. You have the right to and must get a copy of it for your records. You are not required to pay for the same.
13. You are not required by law to give an affidavit.